Order from Sandoval imposes accountability on workforce boards
Rejected in his attempt to consolidate Nevada’s three Workforce Investment Boards, Gov. Brian Sandoval issued an executive order imposing some accountability on the two local boards.A year ago, following a critical audit of Nevadaworks in the north and Workforce Connections in Southern Nevada, Sandoval filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Labor to eliminate the two local boards and have the state-run Governor’s Workforce Investment Board deal directly with the program contractors who provide worker training and other services.The auditors specifically complained that the two local boards were using far too much of the federal money they receive each year for administrative costs. They said the southern board was spending 21 percent of the money it received on administrative costs. Auditors pointed out that the southern board’s proposed budget would increase that to 30 percent. Sandoval said the southern board had eight employees making more than $100,000 a year.By comparison, the northern board, they said, was spending 11.3 percent, still higher than the statewide governor’s board which was using less than 10 percent for administration.Sandoval said that, if the state board took over and eliminated the two local boards, an additional $5 million in federal funding would be available to provide training and other services for workers.The program received $29.5 million in federal money in 2011 to provide training and employment readiness skills. It served more than 26,000 individuals.The Labor Department rejected that request so Sandoval instead issued an order he said will “bring workforce development efforts and spending in line with our state’s economic development plan.”The order directs the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation to monitor local board budget allocations and report to the governor’s board on spending levels. It also directs the governor’s statewide board to establish industry councils to guide the use of workforce investment funding.Effectively, the order puts the two local boards under control of DETR and the statewide governor’s board.